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The War Room With Jennifer Granholm

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Baltimore 9, Us 7, Jennifer 7, U.s. 6, Washington 6, America 5, Obama 5, Virginia 4, Libya 4, Egypt 4, Missouri 4, Mitt Romney 4, North Carolina 3, Florida 3, Clinton 3, Sasha 3, George H. W. Bush 3, Cairo 3, Stephanie Rawlings Blake 3, Iran 3,
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  Current    The War Room With Jennifer Granholm    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 13, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm PDT  

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freak out. >> i don't care. >> >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," bedtime for mittens. >> the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. >> he's speaking to you mitch. your nightmares are starting to show. only this time it's not the usual things keeping you up at night like rafalca pulling a turn up cart or dogs sitting inside the car. no, this dream is about polls that go bump in the night. daal taking an absolute shellacking in november, a phobia. it is your fear of losing, a failing to please. it is 3:00 a.m. and the phone is ringing, mitch and the call is coming from inside the house.
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>> jennifer: if tonight were election night, mitt romney would lose. would lose! and in a big way! a brand new nbc news "wall street journal" marist poll released just this evening shows that mitt romney is losing in the all-important swing states. the poll of likely voters, likely voters shows the president up 50% to 43% in ohio. he's leading romney 49% to 44% in florida. and virginia. and those polls were conducted sunday through tuesday before romney's missteps and the embassy attack thing that he goofed. so there are also new numbers for two other swing states in colorado, a keating research on-site poll put the president at 49% and romney at 44% and
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that's also among likely voters. and then in new hampshire the wmur granite state poll shows president obama leading mitt romney 45% to 44%. all of them, 5% or more lead shown by the president. the numbers do not lie. now, if you add all of those data polling points together, it would mean an electoral college landslide for the president. okay. hit the pause button. that doesn't mean it's a done deal for sure. as we learned over the last 48 hours, a lot can happen over the next 54 days. but polling prognosticators are making it clear that romney is staring at very long odds and a very steep climb. "the new york times"' own election forecaster nate silver breaks it down like this. if the election were held today president obama has a 92% chance
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of winning and get this, the latest polls from fox cnn "washington post" abc news and rasmussen, all of those give the president even or better marks than romney on handling the economy! which is the one issue that was supposed to be romney's strength. yes, mr. romney, the data says you need to press the panic button! but you know what? he already has. one can imagine that he and his team saw those numbers after the convention saw the obama bounce and entered themselves into full bore freakout mode. rit mitt romney began looking for a hail mary pass. look fog create his own game changing moment. why wouldn't he? tuesday seemed to offer him that opportunity because the day before that on monday, the far right saw those same numbers and went into a tizzy also.
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you had rush limbaugh. you had laura ing gram, you had all of these people calling mitt romney out saying you're going to have to shut the party down! so i'm wondering is that why on tuesday night romney responded to the pressure? because he launched his own assault that desperate political stud and leapt wholeheartedly into this magic diplomatic crisis in the middle east. he did get a lot of flak for it but he did not get flak from the critics on his right. the ones who were begging him to act. they rewarded him with praise. >> mitt romney did what he needed to do. he needed to train the public's focus at that point. on what will change if he's president of the united states. >> there is a coordinated effort to make it about romney and
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whether or not he should speak. whether or not he should say anything about it. whether or not it is presidential for romney. we're only supposed to have one president now. at times like this. well, we don't have one unless romney speaks up. >> jennifer: so they were so happy. mission accomplished! for them. and therein lies the problem. while president obama and secretary clinton spoke about the crisis with steady, seriousness, they exuded calm, they had clarity and strength, mitt romney, by contrast, was prematurely hyperventilating, maybe in response to the most extreme voices in his party. his campaign was in panic mode. and an international crisis was brewing and who did he listen to? could it have been the likes of rush limbaugh and laura ing graham and other neocons on his team? president obama was presidential
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and strong. mitt romney and paul ryan looked like bit players in top radio's amateur hour. stature, diplomacy steadiness? national unity in the face of an international crisis? none of that! actually the fact that mitt romney changed his tone a bit today, softened his attacks is frankly more evidence that he was probably just reacting to criticism again. gail collins had a great column in "the new york times" today an she said that many people have given mitt romney a pass because they thought he's really deep down a reasonable guy. and that if he's elected his sanity and backbone are suddenly going to appear. but this week's troubling incident in the middle east, in his comments about it is exhibit -- i don't know, f g that instead, mitt romney is going to be guided by his bulliers on the right. he's like a frightened yes man
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whose whole life has been about pleasing his teachers, his bosses, his father but even during an election and at a time of crisis, you the voter the citizen, you are not who he's trying to please. it is rush limbaugh. and that should be deeply disturbing to you and extremely troubling to the world. but that's what happens when you're desperate. we cannot allow rush limbaugh -- i mean mitt romney to place his finger on the button. but the election is still 54 days away, folks. as the very wise yogi berra said it ain't over till it's over. coming to us tonight from washington, d.c. to discuss this late stage leg of the election is peter fenn. peter is a democratic strategist. he runs fenn communication group. welcome back inside "the war room." >> thanks, jennifer. great to be back. >> jennifer: great to have you. and now let me just go a little
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bit down memory lane for one moment. because back during the 1980 election ronald reagan, candidate and george h. w. bush both refused to publicly condemn president jimmy carter for the botched attempt to rescue the american hostages in iran. they were silent. do you think that mitt romney should follow their example before speaking out about this week's attack in libya? >> you know, actually, jennifer, they were more than silent during that time. and they were unbelievably unifying. they talked about how important it was at times of international crisis to be together, the rhetoric for both george h. w. bush and ronald reagan was not at all political. in fact, george h. w. bush said we're not going to politsize things like this. this is a time for us to come
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together. and not only did mitt romney try to politicize this as you point out, in a panicked kind of way but you know -- a time limit on this, he was going to have it released at 12:00 midnight then he called the press and said look, i want to make the late news and i want to make the morning papers. so this embargo is lifted. you can take the statement at 10:30. so that showed people how he was trying to take what was a terrible tragedy and turn it into his own political advantage to. me, the guy is tone-deaf. you don't know that that's not going to come back to haunt you? >> jennifer: for sure. tone-deaf. you could get more plot is being statesman like rather than launching yourself into the middle of an international incident. i'm curious from your perspective. he's challenged at the moment. electorally. and you know, what's going --
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what would have to happen between now and election day to change the trajectory for mitt romney? >> well, you know, first of all as you so rightly point out jennifer, he's gotta get out of panic mode. he's acting like john mccain did four years ago. he's making decisions. he's acting nonpresidential. he doesn't look like a leader. so the first thing he's got to do if i was advising, i would say look, let's just step back here. we've been through a lot of campaigns. what the american people want to hear is a plan on the economy for me. what they want to hear is something that makes some sense. they've got the criticism. they've got all of the negative ads. karl rove is blitzing all our tvs with his crazy negative ads. what they want out of a candidate now is some sense that he has a different sort of plan. but the trouble is, jennifer, he doesn't have one! you know.
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as the president so rightly says, take two tax cuts and call me in the morning. >> jennifer: the plan he's got is the same plan we've had in the past. it didn't work. but if you were advising him that's what you would tell him to do. stick to your knitting, stick to a plan or get a plan and describe it rather than seeming like you're panicking. >> right. and the difficulty right now is that the time -- the sand is running out of the hourglass. he doesn't have much time. he's going to rely on the debates. the pressure is on him for october 3rd for the big debate. more important, i think voters are starting to shut down now. that's what you're seeing in the polls. they're starting to make their decisions. and he now has to turn around what has been a rather long process. and you know, instead of going to the middle, instead of coming across as a moderate, reasoned, leader he has from the get-go, gone to the far right.
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and the paul ryan pick was a terrible mistake. went to the far right. it was not unlike mccain's pick. and his convention, you know, the platform of that convention is an outrage. and you know, if you look at the republican -- went through the party platforms in the '60s, they called for an equal rights amendment to the constitution in the republican platforms. they were very open to equal pay for equal work to a lot of those issues. he has shut down the moderate wing of the republican party. >> jennifer: i totally agree. are you surprised though that there hasn't been a shake-up in the campaign? >> i am a little bit, to be honest with you. i'm kind of surprised that he is not brought in some other advisors who have a different outlook on the race. i mean look, he limped out of the primaries the only reason
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he won those primaries is because he won them ugly and he eviscerated his very weak opponents with five to one six to one, nine to one advantages in some of the states in terms of campaign spending. and you know, the one thing that's happened with the democrats, thank goodness, last month is finally we've beaten romney in fund-raising. i think you know, they're going to beat us. they're going to spend more money, they always will but i think our base is energized. i think our contributors are now writing checks. i think people are now sensing that the economy's getting better. the latest numbers on the fourth quarter are good. you know, i think folks are saying, you know, i think this plan that barack obama has is much better than turn the clock back. >> jennifer: i agree. as long as our base stays energized, peter. thank you for coming on. you're always so crisp and
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wonderful. >> i must say, i credit the bounce, jennifer to your speech at the democratic convention which was fantastic. >> jennifer: all right. well whatever. but i love you and i love you even more. that's peter fenn of fenn communications group. still ahead you are looking at right now a live shot of protests near the u.s. embassy in cairo. obviously this is still a really tense and unpredictable situation. a reminder the biggest stake in this year's election are really the ones that we do not know about yet. and more on that after the break. welcome to the possibilities of membership. welcome in. american express.
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at home or abroad. republicans are already using the unrest in the middle east to paint the president as weak on foreign policy. representative alan west told "the huffington post" "president obama has clearly surpassed former president jimmy carter and his actions during the iranian embassy crisis as the weakest and most ineffective person to ever occupy the white house." whatever. the majority of americans seem to disagree though. the president now leads mitt romney on the issue of foreign policy by 15 points. according to this week's fox news poll. that's fox news. but his record could be put to the test if continued tensions escalate. and today, secretary of state hillary clinton tried to diffuse the situation by making it clear that the u.s. government had nothing to do with that anti-muslim video that incited the protests. >> let me state very clearly and i hope it is obvious that the
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united states government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. we absolutely reject its content and message. >> jennifer: last night libyans took to the streets to express sympathy and their government issued an immediate apology following ambassador christopher stevens' death but in egypt protests continue as we speak and the government there has been slower to respond. muslim brotherhood backed egyptian president mohammed morsi condemned the violence today but oak after a personal -- but only after a personal phone call from president obama last night. now the conflicts are spreading. in yemen four protestors were killed today in scuffles with police. in iran, protestors shutting death to america took to the streets in morocco sudan tunisia. there were demonstrations outside american embassies. how could these events impact the election in november? for more on that, we're turning
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to janine za car ya, a former "washington post" bureau chief. she's now a visiting lecturer at stanford. welcome inside "the war room." so did romney screw up? >> well, i think it is obvious from what you're seeing this is not playing well among voters, among strategists, even republican strategists i heard today criticizing him. he had an opportunity here to articulate what he would do as president when it comes to these crises which are going to dog us, the united states for years to come. we have the spring and i think americans tuned out after it was over. this is going to continue. so he could have talked about -- here's my vision for what we need to do in egypt. here's what i'm going to do for syria and libya. maybe give a big speech. maybe focus on the fact if he wanted to take a potshot at the president or highlight something, about why these embassies were so insecure. remember, we just had nato planes all over libya. they could not get rescue, anybody, to libya to rescue the ambassador. i've been to fortress cairo as
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they call the embassy there. it is very hard to penetrate. the fact that these places are inadequately guarded perhaps he could draw attention to that. >> jennifer: interesting you say -- especially about the arab spring because republican senator james inhoff wrote in the hill, the once promising arab spring has been hijacked by extremists who seek to advance their radical agenda and stand in the way of democracy. what's going to happen with the arab spring? is this a huge point of vulnerability for the president and could something impact the election? >> look, you know better than i about politics, right? i don't think american voters are voting on foreign policy barring a major crisis like the hostage crisis in 1979. i don't think this is potentially going to be a low. >> eliot: conflict on and on. however, there has definitely got to be some discussion in washington about where we go from here. president obama has to deal with this policywise right now. how are we better going to guard the embassy and communicate? on the communication issue
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hillary clinton makes the statement like you said today. >> jennifer: was it received? >> they were outside all of the embassies protesting. u.s. public diplomacy takes years. in 2001, colin powell appointed charlotte, an advertising executive to sell america in the arab world after 9-11. we're not winning that war of ideas. especially in the social media age. >> jennifer: what can be done? >> you need come out there and explain to them the president of egypt himself said that the u.s. and president obama should prosecute the makers of this film. they do not understand the way it works. so we need to keep -- >> jennifer: first amendment. >> they don't understand first amendment. so along with that you just keep hammering on that and you find creative ways to do outreach. >> jennifer: do you think a statement like hillary clinton made today is anybody -- nobody's even listening. >> she has to make that statement. of course she does. this has to be coupled with other measures.
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more program -- these are the kind of issues they'll talk about foreign policy that the president and romney have differences on. should we be contributing more to the voa programming, should we be sending more emissaries. should we send lebron james? instead of taking potshots about a statement put out by an embassy when it is under siege. >> jennifer: so there is a lot of speculation about what was really going on at the libyan embassy when this happened. whether it was a preplanned thing. whether there was some retaliation for taking out number two in al-qaeda. we don't know exactly what is going on. we do know in egypt the president has said that we're not sure whether egypt is an am lie or not. -- is an ally or not. nancy pelosi repeated that today. the state department came out and confirmed the administration does consider egypt an ally. what's really going on? where do we stand diplomatically? >> egypt is not an ally in the sense of like -- like allies in
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europe where we have nato treaties but it is a country that we give a billion dollars a year to and we always refer to it as our most important ally in the middle east. what i think it suggests is the deep concern in washington about president morsi. he's a member of the muslim brotherhood. the president is part of a group of conspiracy theorists about 9-11. president morsi. so we have problems with them. and the president -- president obama is going to meet him at the united nations later this month. it will be an interesting meeting to see if they can repair the damage. >> jennifer: president obama gave the fabulous speech in cairo in 2008 where there was seemingly a break through with the muslim world but that's obviously taken a different turn. >> it is outdated. it is time for another -- >> jennifer: it was supported by the united states. >> listen, the people who are carrying out these attacks are extremists. they are not the majority of arabs and muslims. the simple point, maybe it is worth repeating. libyans are very pro-american. egyptians, you know, they are -- i wouldn't say pro-american, okay but they all want to come
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to america. they maybe reject u.s. foreign policy. you find this across the arab world. people want to know about america. they want to come to america but they have a problem with american foreign policy. there is opening there for dialogue. you need strong security also to counteract the extremists. we have to better protect our embassies. >> jennifer: you're fabulous. i wanted to ask you about iran and israel. we don't have time for it. >> next time. >> jennifer: janine za car ya she knows what she's talking about. up next, if it weren't for cold, hard math, the national press corps and critics in both parties, mitt romney might be feeling pretty good about himself right now. we'll tackle the arithmetic end of all of that next.
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>> jennifer: tonight in "the war room," we've made it clear the long odds that mitt romney faces to add 1600 pennsylvania
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avenue. his collection of addresses. nate silver of "the new york times" puts romney's chances at 8%. other analysts have it a little better for romney. not a whole lot. today, a data analytics company called -- great name, nerd wallet lowered romney's odds from 20% of likely of winning to 16%. nerd wallet puts polls from today and the last few weeks and historical data into a model a computer model to get that number. nerd wallet got its start analyzing credit card rates and now uses data an ax sis in fields like -- analysis in fields like education. joining me is the vice president of financial markets joanna pratt. so glad you're here. we've reconfigured our election map here, joanna from our nine swing states to nerd wallet's 12 battleground states which are all in yellow right now. we'll focus on those.
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so joanna, tell me how you get to the prediction that mitt romney only has 16% chance of winning. what are the states you're focusing on here? >> sure. let's start with missouri. that's one that mitt romney could win. >> stephanie: up here is the electoral vote tally. so obama at 201 and romney at 191. all of the yellow states are not counted. so missouri, we add him in. that dips him to 191. >> that's a good point to start with. obama has 201 electoral votes. romney only has 181 state electoral votes so romney really needs to make up those votes. in order to make up those 20, he needs to win the majority of these tossup states. right now, we have him projected to win missouri. also north carolina. >> jennifer: north carolina. so north carolina and missouri. those are the two you have him predicted to win. >> that's right. based on current polling.
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>> jennifer: are all of the others going clearly for obama? >> more or less. so virginia has been flip-flopping back and forth. >> jennifer: what is it today? >> as of this afternoon with the current "wall street journal" poll, it just flipped back to obama. >> jennifer: new hampshire obama. pennsylvania -- so we're going to do obama obviously because who else would it be? all of the rest, right? that's red and that is blue. so that means that obama has according to your polls your data analytics 332 electoral votes to romney's 206. >> we don't necessarily think it will play out exactly like this. >> jennifer: that's today. >> if it were today, that's what the polls indicate. >> jennifer: okay so now how do you get to the 16%? what is it that goes in besides -- you just have polling data? >> we take the current polls and we say how likely is this going to translate into the actual
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election? how accurate will it be? to answer the question, we look at past elections. we look at '04 and '08. we say 54 days before the election, how good were they at predicting the election outcome. we take that accuracy and put it into our computer model with the latest polls and run 30,000 simulations every day. and that kind of spits out the 16%. the reason it is so low is because, as i was saying, romney has 20 electoral votes behind with only 12 states so he really needs to win a majority of those. as you can see he's polling behind in ten of the 12 states. >> jennifer: ten of the 12 states. so the most, according to your number crunching if you had to pick out two states that were the most important -- >> definitely ohio and florida. >> jennifer: ohio and florida. no surprise there. >> absolutely. just quickly can you take into account major factors? so are there things that could happen between now and election day that would cause your
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projections to change? >> there are. to be fair. but they would have to be very, very severe because basically this is based on the error in '04 and '08 elections. in '08, it was during the financial crisis. >> jennifer: a big financial crisis has already been modeled. a big foreign policy crisis. >> not necessarily. but again it would have to be pretty severe to be outside the bounds of the model. >> what do you look for in the next 54 days? >> we run the model every single day and public it on our web site. we're going to continue to run it. we've been running it for weeks and romney's odds have fluctuated between 15% and 20% so unless something really big happens in the next few weeks, i would expect it is probably going to look like this for awhile. >> jennifer: that's why mitt romney is going into panic mode. that's joanna pratt of nerd wallet. coming up, stuffing envelopes ringing doorbells cracking the
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online purchasing patterns of redheaded married women who know how to play the piano. welcome to running a campaign in the 21st century everyone! that story is next and it is one you will only find in "the war room." >>brought to you by geico. 15 minutes could save 15% or more on car insurance. visit geico.com for a free rate quote.
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>> jennifer: back in 2007, mitt romney sat down with the "wall street journal" to discuss his run for the white house. 2007. two minutes in he said something very illuminating in a way that only he can. he said...
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he actually said that. kind of veered a teensy bit away from that policymaking his comments on the middle east. the point is campaigns love data! and they have a whole lot of it. in the last decade, political war rooms and silicon valley have joined forces, polling information not just on people's voting history but on all sorts of personal nuggets likes which car you drive which movies you watch, which web sites you visit. how much your home is worth. all of the data points are helping campaigns to craft a winning message. and our next guest claims these new analytics have helped campaigns know how you're going to vote before you even know how you're going to vote. joining me now to discuss the electoral data race is sasha
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issenberg, author of "the victory lab" which shows us how the new campaign techniques have evolved. sasha coming to us from boston. thanks for joining us inside "the war room," sasha. >> thanks for having me, governor. >> jennifer: you bet. let me get to it. campaigns can now predict all of the voting behaviors. it has totally changed the game. if the romney campaign has all of the data, why is it they keep flubbing? >> well, one of the things that's still very difficult to understand is how voters make up their mind, make a decision among candidates. so testing messages or sort of making strategic decisions or responding to the news of the day is one of the few areas where data and new analytics leap campaigns. still working blind. and so my guess is what happened last night or in the last two days was the campaign from operating from instinct.
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>> jennifer: i totally agree with you. he's ignoring the data and moving on gut. microtargeting is one of the buzz words of the election season and the romney campaign launched one of the -- launched, for example 12ads. they're tailoring each ad with a specific issue. so for our viewers, take a listen to this ad. >> here in virginia, we're not better off under president obama. his defense cuts will weaken national security and threaten over 31,000 jobs. romney's plan, strengthen the military and create over 440,000 new jobs for virginia. >> jennifer: we look at that and obviously he's targeting people in the defense industry. are there other messages that come out of ads like that sasha? >> the most interesting ones are the ones that cut against traditional geographies. one of the important things that's happened in politics is
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campaigns are no longer bound by defining voters by what precinct or county they live in or by the sort of big demographic group we see in polls. college-educated voters. campaigns have hundreds of data points on each voter and they create an individual level prediction of how you're likely to vote, if you're likely to vote. so when they build up a universe to talk to whether it is by a piece of mail or a phone call or an ad, they're pulling people from different categories and lumping them in based on what their political behaviors and attitudes will be, not how they fit into the old geography of politics. >> they did that -- large of it is following people online. >> a lot of it happened before -- we saw stirrings of this after 2000. campaigns that were able to combine the records that are attached to a voter registration
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form which is your name and address and your gender and your age with all of the information that the world had -- which mail order catalog they would send you or magazine, subscription appeals or credit rating agencies to collect the data that allowed them to make predictions. once campaigns were able to combine that sort of information under buying and lifestyle habits with the information on your political behaviors stuff that came from canvassers at your doorstep and they gave you a clue about your demography. they were able to put them together and run the sort of complex, statistical algorithms that allowed them to make predictions about what you would believe or how you would behave even if they never talked to you in real life. >> jennifer: that's way, way personal. i feel that way even though i know the campaigns do it. microtargeting has enabled campaigns to get personal with the voters. there was a study from anenberg
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which found that 86% of people don't want political campaigns to tailor ads or target them to their interest. 64% say the likelihood of voting for a candidate they support would decrease if they find out they're being microtargetted. could it backfire? >> it could if the idea with the gains was particularly invasive. i think american voters in particular, this is true compared to other countries around the world are particularly generous with personal information. part of the reason that campaigns operate the way they do is volunteers calling from a phone bank or canvassers ask you questions. they ask you who you support. what's your position on controversial issues. voters send to give it up. that's a good number of the variables are things that voarls parted with very freely. the and an beg survey, if it
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they asked it differently, they would get another answer. >> jennifer: for sure. so i mean have certain campaign tactics in light of this become less valuable? could web-based analytics and personalized web ads make robo calls and national ad buys obsolete? >> yeah, i think there's been a large body of work through these experiments i write about the randomized trials for politics. wherein instead giving people some drugs and placebos, they're sending them calls or pieces of mail. the robo calls no almost no impact on getting people out to vote. >> jennifer: thank goodness! i hate those robo calls. >> tv ads can show a candidate sort of die dynamically talking
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moving, a level of texture you can't deliver in a piece of mail or in a canvas or script. interesting thing that's happening this year is people are figuring out how to target web action ds. >> jennifer: is a sharks i gotta go. i think this is so fascinating. sasha issenberg author of the victory lap. up next, we've talked a lot about operating out of fear. mitt romney is operating out of fear fortunately there is another side to that point. we'll talk about courageous decisions. baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings black is joining us next. we'll be right back. it's go time. what time is it rob? oh, then it's go. go. go. go time. anybody? anybody? what time is it? oh, right.
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go time!
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as i've said many times, our nation's immigration system is as broken as our border but now is the time -- now is not the time to grant broad amnesty to nearly one million people. >> jennifer: that's arizona governor and anti-immigration poster child jan brewer reacting to president obama's executive action allowing young undocumented immigrants to remain in the u.s. without fear of deportation. fortunately not all politicians are as shortsighted. tonight we want to introduce you to jan brewer's polar opposite. she's baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings blake. she's in office since 2010. mayor rawlings blake has embarked on a great fan
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immigration charm offensive. the goal is to attract 10,000 families mostly immigrants to her city and she wants these new residents to feel comfortable. in march she ordered police and social agencies to stop asking for a person's immigration status. stop asking for it. and just for good measure her baltimore orioles are in first place ahead of new york yankees. i would say -- i'm a tiger fan. coming to us tonight from baltimore is mayor stephanie rawlings blake. mayor, welcome inside "the war room." >> it is certainly my pleasure to be here, governor. i have to say thank you for mentioning the os. i'm bursting inside. they're doing -- we haven't been in this position since i think '97. >> jennifer: you're rubbing it in now. i gave you a minute. >> sorry. >> jennifer: click. >> can i have one more second? i just have to tell you one more
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thing because i don't know when the next time i have a chance to talk to you. the recent convention in charlotte was my fifth convention. i have never ever in my time in politics that i've been in politics and around politics since i was a child seen a more electrifying speech than you gave. you owned that stage! >> jennifer: you just made up for that whole orioles thing. >> you owned that room in a way that i have not seen a woman do in my lifetime. inspirational. >> jennifer: it was a great audience, i'll tell you that. >> it was great. >> jennifer: all right. let's get to it. back in january, "the baltimore sun" wrote an editorial. it said the rawlings blake administration's insistence that it's not making an effort to target immigrants in particular is silly. now you since then, actually have embraced that. i want to know why did you decide to wholly embrace the strategy of welcoming immigrants? >> in order to grow the city, you have to have a holistic
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approach. i understand that part of growing a city in this country is welcoming new americans. i wanted to make sure did i everything to show new americans that this is a place that they can grow. that they can lay down roots. it is a safe place for them to live. >> jennifer: so did you get a lot of flak from advisors when you told them you were going to do this? >> no. not from advisers at all. baltimore is a port city. we have a history of immigrants from all over the world. coming into our neighborhoods and creating vibrant neighborhoods. we can grow on that. >> jennifer: there is a state delegate named patrick mcdunna who said -- this is a quote from him. the mayor is pandering to the hispanic vote creating a supermagnet for an influx of illegal immigrants. what's your response to that? >> i'm usually not on the same side as delegate mcdonough.
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>> jennifer: i'm shocked to hear that. one thing that's interesting you have stood up on something that's gotten pushed back, even on the democratic side. for example long-standing residents, some perhaps in the african-american community which might fear that the new immigrants would take jobs and yet you have stood strong. how do you stand strong in the face of push back? >> it's important for me to continue the message that there is enough room in baltimore for all of us. the strategy that i have in attracting new americans is not an either/or strategy. in order for me to grow the city, i have to attract new residents but i also have to retain the ones that i have. so as long as people get the fact that the work that we're doing around reducing violent crime, improving our schools and dealing dealing with blight in our neighborhoods, we're making baltimore a place to grow for everyone. >> jennifer: all right so you've talked about violent crime.
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of course, like chicago baltimore has seen a spike in homicides. i think six people were shot over labor day alone. so talk about what is your strategy to combat violent crime? >> i've been really proud of the work that we're doing. we target the most violent offenders. i made a commitment, even though we have tough budget deficits, to continue to hire police officers, to also invest in crime camera technology and other innovative strategies. last year, we were able to get the homicide rate to the lowest number since '77. >> jennifer: wow! >> we're not taking our foot off the gas. we have a tiny spike in the murder rate however the shootings are still lower than they were last year and i'm convinced that we can have a safer city. >> jennifer: so you must be facing like many big city mayors budget pressure. what would you say to those in washington particularly those who have not been supportive of cities? what would be the top thing you
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would want to see support from washington. >> i think if the members of congress had to spend a day or a week in our shoes, they would understand that this gridlock is not productive. it is not helpful. and they would never get away with it as the executive of the city. they would never get away with it as mayor and they would be forced to come up with ways to solve problems instead of standing on i think idealism and principles that aren't moving our country forward. >> jennifer: all right. now baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings blake we're going to send your backbone over to mitt romney. maybe we'll wait until after the election is over. he should be taking some -- he should be on the other end of the camera taking notes about what it means to be strong. i appreciate you coming inside "the war room" and providing an example for democrats and republicans alike. up next, brett ehrlich heads into the land of romney to break
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down the specifics of the noncommittal answer. >> is being vague a good thing? i may or may not answer that question after some time.
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